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Dead in the Water

Cover of Dead in the Water

Dead in the Water

Stone Barrington Series, Book 3

Stone Barrington only wants a winter getaway from the chill of New York in the beautiful, tropical Caribbean paradise of St. Mark's. But what the lawyer and ex-cop gets instead is the chance to defend Allison Manning. The beautiful young woman stands accused of killing her rich husband on board their luxurious yacht and then burying him at sea.

Stone isn't exactly conversant with the island country's law, but this much is clear to him: Allison is being railroaded by the perverse sense of justice of a prosecutor who will do anything to stay in office. Donning the robe and wig of a British barrister, Stone does everything he can to save Allison--from publicizing the case all over the American press to conducting the kind of smart, tough investigation that money can't buy. Just when he has the jury in the palm of his hands, a shocking reversal of fortune changes everything. And what was once a sure thing begins to look a lot like a death sentence.

Stone Barrington only wants a winter getaway from the chill of New York in the beautiful, tropical Caribbean paradise of St. Mark's. But what the lawyer and ex-cop gets instead is the chance to defend Allison Manning. The beautiful young woman stands accused of killing her rich husband on board their luxurious yacht and then burying him at sea.

Stone isn't exactly conversant with the island country's law, but this much is clear to him: Allison is being railroaded by the perverse sense of justice of a prosecutor who will do anything to stay in office. Donning the robe and wig of a British barrister, Stone does everything he can to save Allison--from publicizing the case all over the American press to conducting the kind of smart, tough investigation that money can't buy. Just when he has the jury in the palm of his hands, a shocking reversal of fortune changes everything. And what was once a sure thing begins to look a lot like a death sentence.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Stone Barrington slowly opened his eyes and stared blearily at the pattern of moving light above him. Disoriented, he tried to make sense of the light. Then it came to him: he was aboard a yacht, and the light was reflected off the water.

    He sat up and rubbed his eyes. The night before had been the stuff of bad dreams; he never wanted to have another like it. The nightmare had started at Kennedy Airport, when his live-in girlfriend, Arrington Carter, had not shown up for the flight. She was supposed to come directly from the magazine office where she had been meeting with an editor, but she had not arrived.

    Stone had found a phone and had tracked down Arrington, still at The New Yorker.

    "Hello?" she said.

    Stone glanced at his watch. "I guess you're not going to make the plane," he said. "It leaves in twenty minutes."

    "Stone, I'm so sorry; I've been having you paged at the terminal. Didn't you hear the page?"

    He tried to keep his voice calm. "No, I didn't."

    "Everything has exploded here. I took the proposal for the profile on Vance Calder to Tina Brown, and she went for it instantly. Turns out she had tried and tried to do a piece with Vance when she was at Vanity Fair, and he would never cooperate."

    "That's wonderful," he said tonelessly. "I'm happy for you."

    "Look, darling, Vance is coming into New York tomorrow, and I've got to introduce him to Tina at lunch, there's just no getting around it."

    "I see," he replied.

    "Don't worry, I'm already booked on the same flight tomorrow. You go ahead to St. Marks, take delivery of the boat, put in some provisions, and get gloriously drunk. I'll be there by midnight."

    "All right," he said.

    "Oh," she sighed, "I'm so relieved you're not angry. I know you can see what a break this is for me. Vance hasn't sat still for an in-depth interview for more than twenty years. Tina says she'll bump up the printing for the anticipated increase in newsstand sales."

    "That's great," he said, making an effort to sound glad for her. "I'll meet you at the St. Marks airport tomorrow night, then."

    "Oh, don't do that; just sit tight, and I'll grab a cab." She lowered her voice. "And when I get there, sweetie, try and be well rested, because I'm going to bounce you off the bedsprings a whole lot; you read me?"

    "I read you loud and clear. I'd better run; they've almost finished boarding. And remember, we've only got the boat for ten days; don't waste any more."

    "I really am going to make it up to you in the best possible way, Stone," she said. "Bye-bye."

    "Bye." Stone hung up the phone and ran for his plane. Moments later, he had settled into a comfortable leather seat and had in his hand a rum and tonic, in honor of his long-anticipated winter holiday. As the big jet taxied out to the runway he looked out the window and saw that it had started to snow. Good. Why have a tropical holiday if you can't gloat?

    Vance Calder was, arguably, Hollywood's premier male star, often called the new Cary Grant, and he had played an important part in Stone's and Arrington's lives already. She had been in Calder's company when they had met at a dinner party at the home of a gossip columnist nearly a year earlier. Although Stone had been struck by her beauty and had found her marvelous company, he had not bothered to call her, because he hadn't believed for a moment that he could take a girl away from Vance Calder. Instead, Arrington had called him. Vance, she had explained, was no more than an acquaintance who, when he was in New York, liked to have a pretty girl to squire around, especially at dinners like the one at Amanda Dart's apartment, which she would feature in her column.

About the Author-
  • Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.

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